For some time now, people have been virtually shouting from the rooftops that education is the most important raw material in German-speaking Europe. The only way to safeguard economic power and the standard of living is through well-educated employees and a clear commitment to lifelong learning. Today, computers form a key part of education right across the board. Starting at school and continuing all the way through to training for older employees, access to digital media in education has become a given. The LEARNTEC fair in Karlsruhe has dedicated itself to this area for the past 18 years.
The 5600 visitors and 1200 participants at LEARNTEC 2010 were a clear indicator of the high level of interest in professional education. As of 2010, the event is under the direction of Sünne Eichler, consultant for education management, and Prof. Dr. Peter A. Henning, head of the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Professional Learning, Education Management and IT in Karlsruhe. The two have many years of experience in the field of technology-supported learning.
“As computer-aided learning has reached maturity, the technology has moved into the background – it just needs to work and support the educational process. But it is present everywhere in education,” explains Peter A. Henning. “For this reason, we expanded the scope of LEARNTEC to include hot topics currently under discussion by HR managers and people responsible for professional development – such as talent management in corporations, and knowledge management in SMEs,” adds Eichler.
Through their selection of guest speakers and their coordination of the convention and its program, Eichler and Henning made a major contribution towards repositioning the event, which was recently described as the “number 1 education fair” by the MMB Institute for Media and Competence Research. The involvement of the Steinbeis Transfer Center in Karlsruhe in planning and organizing this “education summit” is an excellent example of the Steinbeis Network’s mission: to act as an interface between the worlds of education and business, to an extent unrivalled by almost any other organization.
The next LEARNTEC fair (1-3 February 2011, Karlsruhe Trade Fair Center) will once again showcase what the future of education holds. Whether professional development with digital media, educational accounting or e-learning for management and sales – LEARNTEC helps visitors find practical solutions for their professional field. Alongside the usual specialist lectures, LEARNTEC 2011 will see stimulating speeches about knowledge and learning by internationally renowned keynote speakers – including neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Christian Elger, and a Google country director. There will also be a presentation about Wolfram Alpha, the knowledge engine, plus an international competition: selected projects from across Europe will receive the “European Award for Technology Supported Learning – eureleA”, showcasing them as examples of best practice.
In 2011, the Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) will again be in charge of organizing the “Learning and IT meeting point,” a European collaboration exchange held at LEARNTEC. In 2010, visitors and exhibitors were able to book individual consultations at the meeting point in advance. 76 companies, universities and research institutions from 7 European countries used this unique opportunity to make the most of their visit to the fair. “Because we received such positive feedback from the exhibitors, who were able to prepare for specific discussions well in advance, we’ve decided that the Learning and IT meeting point will be returning at LEARNTEC 2011,” comments Prof. Dr. Norbert Höptner, head of the SEZ. This partnership again underscores the importance that the Steinbeis Network places on professional education.